Leaders Operate About 30 Degrees Hotter: Lessons From Old Steam Engine Trains

Lessons From Old Steam Engine Trains:  The engineer’s compartment is always about 30 degrees hotter.

Recently, while visiting theMuseum of Transportation in St. Louis, I was reminded of a few leadership and team work concepts. 

On the old steam engine trains, the engineer area was about 30 degrees hotter than the outside temperature.

I think this is probably true that the office of leadership carries with it more heat than other roles potentially do. 

1) You’re constantly dealing with fires – either keeping them burning or putting them out.  

2) Creativity, energy and initiative always seems to generate friction (good or bad).

3) When you pull in like-minded, missionally motivated team members, the momentum through planning and conversations heats up!  

4) You’re always moving forward – with not much time to sit back.  

5) The fact that the train is counting on you to keep things moving forward raises the temp in your office.  

6) The fact that you probably, as the leader, have a personal drive and vision that raises the temp in your role.  

Being 30 degrees hotter isn’t a bad thing. Someone has to be in front leading the way.  Someone had to take the reigns of the iron horse and make it happen. 

So, take off your jacket, open the windows and get down the business of living life a little warmer than others.  It’s what makes the train go. 

“I’ve come to start a fire on this earth—how I wish it were blazing right now! I’ve come to change everything, turn everything rightside up—how I long for it to be finished! – Jesus, Luke 12:49

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